Squawk Radio

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Liz Says, "Have A Musical New Year!"

My family was for sure on Santa's "Nice" list this year, because we found all kinds of great music in our stockings this Christmas. So much, in fact, that I've decided to make my first Sunday Music Blog of 2006 an inclusive, interactive "What'd ya get for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Solstice?" blog.

Me first.

Well, okay, my family and me first. My hubby found in his stocking two Mason Ruffner CDs: "Gypsy Blood," which we bought new two decades ago in cassette form (and which long ago bit the dust), and "Evolution," a later collection of songs neither of us had ever heard, since Mason was out of print for a long time. "Gypsy Blood" still rocks out the wazoo (imagine Jerry Lee Lewis on electric guitar, and you pretty much have Mason Ruffner), and there's not a bad song in the bunch. But "Evolution" is, according to the dh, a bit bluesier (though still very good). I've got it loaded on my iPod but haven't had a chance to give it a listen yet. With his Christmas money, the dh bought Sugarcult's "Palm Trees and Power Lines," which also rocks out the wazoo (says the dh--though what I've heard so far totally makes me want to dance).

My son found in his stocking the Killers' "Hot Fuss" and Weezer's "Make Believe" (along with Green Day's "Bullet in a Bible," their new live DVD with some great interview footage). Although I've also loaded both of these onto my iPod, I've only listened to "Hot Fuss" in its entirety, having heard MUCH good stuff about the band. I gotta say, though, although I like it, it didn't really grab me and make me go "Woo" the way I like for an album to do on first listen. It'll stay on my iPod, and a couple of the songs will make it onto my "MaxWalk" playlist, but... I dunno. Like I said, no "Woo" factor. With his Christmas money, my son bought A Simple Plan's "Still Not Getting Any," the title of which I totally hope he doesn't get. (And I don't think he does.) It's really faboo, too, and has likewise found its way onto my iPod and MaxWalk playlist.

In MY stocking, I found Yellowcard's "Ocean Avenue," which is EXcellent punk/pop that surprised me lyrically in that it is surprisingly upbeat and contains some really warm, touching lyrics--particularly in "Life of a Salesman," otherwise known as "the dad song." I think it's the first time I've ever teared up listening to hard-driving guitar. Also in my stocking was Fall Out Boy's "From Under the Cork Tree." Now THIS is a CD that made me go, not "Woo," but "WOOOOOOOOOO!!!" I LOVE this CD. Not just because the music is so incredibly danceable, but because it's also VERY impressive lyrically, especially "Dance, Dance," which totally speaks to me as a writer. I love this bit in particular:

I'm two quarters and a heart down
And I don't want to forget how your voice sounds
These words are all I have so I'll write them
So you need them just to get by

Very appropriate for us writers of romance. With MY Christmas money, I bought The All American Rejects' "Move Along." It hits my Woo button bigtime when they're doing fast stuff. The slower songs are a bit less successful. But it's still a new fave on the iPod and in the car. Also, after seeing the video for "Dirty Little Secret," band front man Tyson Ritter has suddenly become the hero of my latest work-in-progress, something that makes me wonder if I can deduct the CD purchase from my taxes for 2005. Must ask my accountant.

I will leave you with an amazing discovery I made the day after Christmas. When you make a "MaxWalk" playlist for your iPod that makes you want to walk a hundred miles an hour and burn eighty billion calories in fifteen minutes, it doubles REALLY well as a "MaxDance" playlist that makes you want to dance a hundred miles an hour and burn eighty billion calories in fifteen minutes. This is good news for those of us who want to lose more weight in 2006, 'cause not only can you dance when you're dancing, but you can also dance when you're putting away laundry and unloading the dishwasher and running the vacuum. Trust me. I know. And I have the backache and whiplash to prove it. (Though my jeans already feel looser--I swear.)

Happy New Year, everybody! And tell us what musical treats Santa left in YOUR stocking. One New Year's resolution I intend to keep is "FInd lots of cool new music in the New Year." So I'm way open to recommendations.
Elizabeth Bevarly, 11:29 AM